The Green Lane
The first steps on my way to walking in Wales, concerned taking a small trip around my new home, finding out which paths on the map were really navigable on the ground. And gathering the things needed to begin on my path.
My over-riding aim is to visit as many local sites of ancient historic significance as I am able to. To document their positions on a map, to construct an interesting and hopefully easy to follow walk for each one, and to photograph the sites themselves. Observe any things that may occur, and possibly gather some local insights or historical comments on each site.
Arriving at the start of the green lane, smiles on my face at such a delightful walk in store. On the map, the lane seemed to be blocked in one part, so I was not at all sure if I would have to retrace my steps. However I enjoyed the wonderful wilderness of nature that had built up over hundreds of years on this very old green lane.
Trees piled up on the thick dry-stone walls. Ancient oaks twisting and stretching up to the sky, clothed in moss and lichen. Bright holly leaves and various woodland herbs kept the journey full of interest.
Was this the home of a squirrel? or perhaps an owl? I was not sure, but the clinging ivy and the rugged bark certainly made for an impressive home, whomever it may belong to.
The path became narrower and narrower, and I began to fear that it would peter out altogether.
Then suddenly I came to a little bridge, over the stream that had been running and babbling next to the path for some time.
After crossing the bridge the walk changed completely, I found myself near to a housing estate, and the road widened and opened up. Smiling that I had got through as I had hoped, I said hello to the pigs who were happily enjoying their muddy homes.
And continued on my way, the road opening more and more until finally all wildness had gone, and I was walking along a normal street. At the end of which, was the main A-road through to Neath. Across this main road, was the next part of my journey, onward and up the mountain.
Crossing the road I saw a beautiful view, typical Welsh fields, edged with low dry stone walls, and stately cloud-shaped Oaks.
However, without water or food, I did not want to continue my journey up into the barren mountain and over the top, I had ascertained if the lane went right through, and that was all that was needed for this first short walk. Stopping to greet Anuwn, the blackbird, I then turned back toward home.
One more look up onto the mountain before I left, anticipating the walk to come with a little trepidation, but a great deal more excitement.
I did not return home through the lane, but decided to walk into Rhos and see if I could locate the park, then followed the road back toward Pontardawe, turning off to Alltwen and walking through the street once more.
Catching lovely glimpses of the green and pleasant hills around Pontardawe, I was soon back home and eagerly planning the next phase of the trip to the Cairns on the top of Mynnydd Marchywel.